The earliest materials for construction was either stone or plaster, and most modern material in our opinion is precast concrete.
While concrete may appear unfinished, it can be finely finished and make most beautiful buildings in the world.
The tallest building to use precast concrete is the Transamerica Pyramid in the San Francisco skyline, stands at 850 ft. (260 m.) and another example is Park Tower in Chicago which rises 844 ft. (257 m.), it is the second tallest building in the U.S., to be clad in precast concrete.
Concrete is essentially a combination of stone chips, gravel, sand, water, various admixtures and cement. When water is added to cement, it causes a chemical reaction that binds various other components of concrete together, and makes the product stronger than stone.
Concrete is weak in tension hence its ability to crack. You can reinforce concrete with steel and let the steel take the tension. The end result is that you acquire stronger and versatile building material. Precast concrete is used to save time, and there is no need to wait for lower floors of a structure, to cure before adding on higher levels. Panels can be cast ahead of time and then added when needed.
Precasting concrete are produced in factory under controlled conditions such as temperature and humidity, because it can have a huge impact on concrete curing and strength of the panels. Intricate designs can be cast into precast panels, and various finish like stone or others can be added to the precast panels. While precast concrete often serves a very functional infrastructure, it makes modern comforts possible, adds beauty to function, and durability to our environment.